A $1.1-million Medaglia d'Oro – Amizette filly that topped the fourth session of the Keeneland September yearling sale was resold privately by Keeneland officials to celebrity chef Bobby Flay Sept. 13 after the original purchaser and his client were unable to provide sufficient proof of credit. In addition, Keeneland took legal action against trainer Paul D’Arcy and Dr. Karen Sanderson, both from England, according to Keeneland vice president Harvie Wilkinson. D’Arcy bought the filly and two other yearlings on behalf of Sanderson Sept. 11.
Wilkinson declined to reveal the Medaglia d’Oro filly’s new owner or her private purchase price, but Barry Weisbord, president and co-publisher of the Thoroughbred Daily News and a friend of Flay’s, confirmed reports that the chef had bought the filly. The yearling was consigned to the auction by Trackside Farm (Tom Evans), as agent for her breeders, Liberation Farm and Stonewall Farm.
“He (Flay) bid on her in the ring, and he was given an opportunity to buy her today,” Weisbord said. “She’s a pretty obvious deal. She is from a great family developed by Helen Alexander, and he (Flay) is a person who is in this not with a short view; he’s in it with a long view. My sense is he’s hoping to (eventually) breed out of her for 15 years. She’ll be sent to Denali Stud to rest, and he’ll make a decision about who will train her later on. The filly was identified for him by (British bloodstock agent) James Delahooke, and I assisted in the business part of it.”
In a release, Keeneland said D’Arcy, representing Sanderson, bid on the yearlings "without approved credit." When proper credit could not be produced after the purchases, Keeneland elected to resell the yearlings pursuant to its conditions of sale.
“I’m happy they resolved it, and I’m especially happy I will get to follow this wonderful filly’s career in America,” said Rob Whiteley of Liberation Farm.
The other two horses purchased by D'Arcy Sept. 11 -- a $75,000 Afleet Alex – Real Cat colt, consigned by Paramount Sales, agent for Swordlestown Stud, and a $120,000 Indian Charlie – Christmas Affair filly, consigned by Warrendale Sales, agent for Hargus and Sandra Sexton –were reoffered by Keeneland for its own account Sept. 13. The Afleet Alex colt brought $70,000, and the Indian Charlie filly sold for $125,000.
“We were in the process of trying to confirm their credit when (D’Arcy and Sanderson) bought that horse (the Medaglia d’Oro filly) and two others,” Wilkinson said. “We continued working that day and Friday (Sept. 12) morning to confirm their credit, but when they could not provide sufficient proof of credit, we sued them in Fayette Circuit Court.”
Keeneland officials said the consignors would receive the original hammer prices for their yearlings, minus Keeneland’s 4.5% commission.